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5 Fun Facts About NBA’s Serbian Superstar, Nikolo Jokić

Find out some surprising facts about one of the league’s most talented stars

When people talk about the NBA’s top players of the moment, there’s no doubt that Serbian-born center Nikolo Jokić comes right to mind. This iconic basketball powerhouse joined the professional game with the Denver Nuggets back in 2014 and has since occupied a starting position with the franchise, helping them to become major competitors in the Western Conference. While fans know that the 6-foot-11, 284-pound player is a shooting machine, there are a few surprising facts that maybe even the biggest of aficionados haven’t learned about Jokić. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

He almost played for Barcelona before signing with Denver

Surprisingly enough, there was a time that Jokić was almost going to play outside of the states for the prestigious Barcelona franchise. However, the center didn’t begin his basketball career in the Catalan capital because of an issue with signing where the contract had to be postponed. Fortunately for the NBA, this meant that the league was handed a player who would go on to become a big star. Although we’ll never know what his performance would have been like in Barcelona, it’s a safe bet he would’ve shined over seas as well.

Jokić is the lowest-drafted player in NBA history to win MVP

Another fact that some may not know about Denver’s major playmaker is the fact that he is actually the lowest-drafted player to ever win the Most Valuable Player award. He was presented with the award this past season after setting some career high records with an average of 26.4 points and 8.3 assists per game. He is back at it again in 2022, shaking things up on the court and performing at the high level he is known for. In fact, according to expert NBA MVP odds for the current season, Jokić is yet again another top contender for an MVP award ahead of the Finals. Becoming a back-to-back recipient would be a major addition to the player’s already impressive basketball resume.

‘The Joker’ nickname came from Mike Miller

If you’re a basketball fan, you know that in the context of the NBA, ‘The Joker’ is not the famous movie character from Batman but rather Nikolo Jokić’s nickname. Many fans might wonder the origins of this name, and we are here to reveal the interesting connection. Apparently fellow player and coach Mike Miller gave the player this name during training because he is always surprising people, and you really never know what you are going to get with him. His creativity on the court is what makes him one of the most unique players in the game. He was also previously known as ‘Big Honey’ by some around the league but has been vocal that he likes the Joker nickname more, so it has just stuck over the years.

He is a lover of horses and horse racing

When he isn’t scoring a massive number of points on the court, you can probably find Jokić attending to one of his six horses or sat in front of the television watching an important horse race event. Jokić has called himself a horseman about as long as he’s been interested in the sport of basketball, so it really is a top passion of his.

Basketball isn’t the only sport Jokić is passionate about, as he also loves horse racing

The center ties his wedding ring on his shoe for games

Jokić also has a romantic side, as it hit the press this season that the center ties his wedding ring on his shoelace when he plays instead of leaving it at home altogether. This sweet gesture is to display affection for his wife, Natalija Macesic who he recently married in October of 2020. Having dated since 2013, they finally tied the knot back in his home country of Serbia with friends and family present. With all that action on the court, we just hope he ties his laces well and doesn’t lose it!